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Microsoft CoPilot – What is it, should I be interested?

Written by Lanware

Wednesday, 1 November, 2023

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If you’ve used ChatGPT, Microsoft CoPilot is a familiar concept because Microsoft CoPilot is ChatGPT but it’s integrated into every Microsoft product. This effectively means you have a chat box that you can interact with from within Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and even Windows, but in very specific ways.

A chatbot that thinks like a real person

Most people have interacted with a chatbot at some point, usually when trying to get help online with, for example, a power company. Unfortunately, they can be extremely rudimentary and you can end up jumping through hoops to get through to a real person. ChatGPT, and now Microsoft CoPilot, however, is an AI-based content creator chatbot making it very different to any other chatbot you’ve likely to have encountered before. This is because it is more advanced and has the feeling of an almost genuine person you can have a conversation with.

How does CoPilot fit into the Microsoft Office suite?

CoPilot has a number of capabilities to help you:

1. Ask CoPilot to write something new“Write a proposal for how Microsoft stock has changed over the past five years with a conclusion on investment opportunities.”

Using all the information it has gathered from the internet and including any information you may have gathered in Microsoft 365 – Your OneDrive, OneNote, SharePoint and even email, CoPilot will write this document out for you. When we ran this, CoPilot included the headings; Stock Price History, with a table, Revenue and Earnings Growth analysis, Future Outlook with bullet points and references, Potential Risks, and finally concluded that;

“… The company has several growth opportunities ahead of it, as it leverages its competitive advantages and capitalises on the emerging trends and opportunities in the technology industry.
However, the company also faces some potential risks that could hamper its performance and valuation in the future.
Therefore, we recommend a buy rating for Microsoft stock, with a target price of $400 based on a price-to-earnings ratio of 35x applied to our estimated earnings per share of $11.43 for FY22.”
We’ll leave you to make the investment decisions though.

2. Ask CoPilot to summarise something existing“Provide bullet points on how relevant FCA regulations may affect my proposal.”

Another core capability of Microsoft CoPilot is its ability to understand documents that you already have, contextualise the content, compare against other sources and produce a summary. This functionality works across the entire Microsoft Office suite;

  • Microsoft Word: you can simply ask CoPilot to summarise the key points of a document, either to a new page or a new document or use other sources such as existing documents stored in Microsoft 365 or external web sources to make comparisons.
  • Microsoft Excel: CoPilot can additionally understand tables containing data, analyse and understand its content, and generate a summary of what the data represents.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint: you can ask CoPilot to generate a slide deck, formatted with a theme, based on an existing document you have, or based on a new prompt, like the example in the previous point.
  • Microsoft Outlook: you can ask CoPilot to summarise a long email to get a TLDR or an entire email thread so you don’t have to read it.

3. Ask CoPilot to style your documents“Format my slide deck with a blue theme and include images”

CoPilot can spruce up your documents and slide decks by simply asking it. CoPilot can theme, change the colours, format headings, text, layout and include images relevant to the content.

The possibilities are endless!

These are just some examples of how you can use Microsoft CoPilot, but there are many more and some that no one has thought of yet. With the ability to respond and generate content based purely on what you ask of it, the trick is plainly to know what it is you need.

These powerful capabilities will transform the way we all work. Tasks that would have taken hours or maybe even days now become seconds. With the knowledge of the internet, your documents, emails and wider organisation knowledge base stored in Microsoft 365, Microsoft CoPilot has the potential to truly transform the way we work.

When will it be accessible to all?

As of now, Microsoft CoPilot will be available from November 1st 2023 for “enterprise customers” only, at a cost of $30 USD per month per user (with a Microsoft E3 or E5 license as a pre-requisite). In reality, this is likely to mean you need to be a very large organisation with an existing direct relationship with Microsoft. There is no word yet on the wider release of Microsoft CoPilot for any size of organisation, but be sure to follow us for updates.

Want to get updates on Microsoft CoPilot?

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